Family Affair

April 23rd, 2013

When a big windstorm blew through our community a few weeks ago, it took down a couple sections of our back fence. With summer #15 fast approaching for our home – and it was a year old when we moved to Houston – replacing the entire 212 linear feet seemed like the right move. Our next-door neighbor decided to do the same, and the new cedar fences definitely improved curb appeal.

While admiring the upgraded look of our properties, I told him: “What we need to do now is have our four teenagers stain it.” He agreed, and last Saturday became an all-day paint-a-thon. When you consider both sides needed to be stained, there was a total of 800 linear feet with a materials and supplies cost of $900. Good thing the labor was cheap.

I wouldn’t say the kids had a great attitude beforehand – my daughter Tweeted the night before: “I have to spend all day tomorrow painting a stupid fence” – however, during the nine hours on the job, I heard nary a negative word. They took turns spraying and rolling the cedar planks, and never once became frustrated with each other. All in all, it was a terrific way to spend a spring day… and my guess is they’ll talk about ‘the time we stained the fence’ long after I’m gone.

One thing that arose from this outdoor adventure is recognition of an opportunity missed by fencing companies. As a serial entrepreneur, I’m tempted to start a business and provide the solution myself; however, Kathy made me promise when I created Success Handler, LLC that it would be my last career change. So, I’ll leave this one for you to pursue.

Homeowners should be able to skip the ‘paint stage’ after installing a new fence. Instead, you would have a choice of, say, four colors pre-approved by your HOA. You make your selection in advance and the fence company pre-stains the lumber before delivering it to your home. Up goes the fence and – Voila! – have a lemonade in your beautiful backyard. Customers would gladly pay an up-charge to have this time-consuming task removed from their weekend to-do list.

Feel free to make millions.

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